Improving Community Health Through Fresh Food

Alfrea

2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities Flourish Prize Finalist - For Business as an Agent of World Benefit - Weatherhead School of Management

Overview

Alfrea is on a crusade to help make the world healthier and happier. Fresh, quality food can help alleviate nearly 50% of health-related issues. Alfrea works tirelessly to bring on-site gardens, training, and workshops, as well as a 24/7 online marketplace to workplaces and communities so that people have access to nutritious food that was responsibly grown.

Authors

Ben McDonald

Ben McDonald

Philip Marrone

Philip Marrone

Elizabeth Biscoe

Elizabeth Biscoe

Sean Rigau

Sean Rigau

Eli St. Amour

Eli St. Amour

School

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph's University

Professor

David Steingard

David Steingard

Innovation

Alfrea operates with the philosophy that food is medicine. This New Jersey based company is on a mission to preach the value of fresh food, educate people about growing their own healthy food, and provide nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to communities that lack access to them. Nearly 50% of health issues can be reduced or resolved by eating healthier foods. Annually, companies are spending close to $13,000 per employee on health benefits. Alfrea is changing the way people think about their food.

When people grow their own food, they take pride in their diet and tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. Alfrea is working to get employees and communities involved in growing their own food where they live and work. Alfrea's business model allows people to share their home, work, land and skills to grow with and for others. Additionally, Alfrea has an e-commerce platform that allows people to order fresh produce from an affiliated farmer that will be delivered to their home or office.

This innovative organization is closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #2 and #3, which are focused on eliminating hunger and improving overall health. Alfrea is focused on restructuring the average diet and promoting healthy food as our most powerful medicine. By involving communities in the cultivation process, Alfrea is on the front lines of reducing hunger at work and at home, as well as providing education and access to nutritious, better-tasting food.

Improving Community Health Through Fresh Food

Inspiration

For years, social entrepreneur and avid gardener David Wagstaff has helped rent out pastures, find beekeepers, and manage day-to-day operations around his parents’ farm. At the same time, he had been seeking ways to improve his parents’ health and maintain his own. David discovered that fresh, quality food is the answer to over 50% of health-related issues.

David knew he wasn’t the only one worried about his health and that of the people around him. He started Alfrea to connect more people to the power of growing, sharing, and eating fresh food - no matter how much time or experience they have.

Overall impact

Alfrea is impacting communities and workplaces in a big way through their knowledge of the importance of nutrition. Alfrea prides themselves on the accessibility and affordability through their marketplace that connects communities and workplaces with over 20 local farms and producers. By making fresh, locally grown food in accessible spaces, they are making a long term impact, reducing medical issues such as heart disease and hypertension. The offering of designing, building, and maintaining community gardens promises to involve communities for years to come, teaching them the importance of fresh produce and to work against any form of food waste. Wagstaff stated that “One of the things I find exciting about Alfrea is that, not only does it have the potential to be a big, scalable business, it has the potential to have a big impact.”

Through Alfrea’s CSA delivering fresh food and giving wellness workshops, they’ve been able to help companies begin the process of being healthier, starting in the workplace. This effect can be seen in the testimonials given about Alfrea and the importance of the work they have been doing. They also have created employee cookbooks and hands-on team building seminars that allow for employees to have an idea how to work with the produce through its entire life cycle. Alfrea has created a model of education and action around fresh food. Coming to a company near you soon!

Business benefit

Through innovation, all stakeholders involved within Alfrea's business model are deeply connected. In a world where car sharing and room sharing companies are booming, a garden sharing industry just makes sense. Through education and training, Alfrea makes sure their customers have every tool they need to start and share their gardens with the community. The customers are given the opportunity to invest more in the business, and given the ability to form new farming/gardening communities where available. Whether it is the connection of farmer to customer, or customer to their food or garden, the company makes sure a strong relationship is formed between all involved. This ensures quality treatment of food and peace of mind within the customers who are eating it. When focusing on the larger picture, Alfrea's Wellness Program not only helps on the customer level, but benefits the entire planet as a whole. Through growing their own fruits and vegetables, those involved in the program are also helping to greatly minimize pollution caused by the shipment of these products to stores.

Social and environmental benefit

Alfrea uses the experience of growing, sharing, and eating fresh food to transform the health and happiness of communities. By bringing on-site gardens, training and workshops, as well as a 24/7 online marketplace, Alfrea's goal is to cultivate healthier workplaces and communities. David Wagstaff, the founder and CEO, began Alfrea because he has a desire to make a difference. He wants to connect more people to the power of growing, sharing, and eating fresh food, no matter how much time or experience they have.

With it's powerful mission, Alfrea has a positive impact on the economy, environment, and society. By changing the way people eat, Alfrea can help people save money on healthcare expenses. The company also leaves a very minute environmental footprint by eliminating trips to the grocery store and waste such as packaging and grocery bags. Through these ethical and sustainable practices, Alfrea is holding to true to its philosophy.

Interview

David Wagstaff, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Alfrea

Alfrea

Philadelphia, PA, US

Business Website: https://alfrea.com/

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Cultivating healthier workplaces and communities through the power of fresh food, Alfrea uses the experience of growing, sharing, and eating fresh food to transform the health and happiness of workplaces and communities.